Father Involvement and Support

Fathers have a profound and far-reaching impact on their children, shaping everything from academic performance and impulse control to social development and the capacity for empathy. But while the research is clear on the importance of fathers, many children are in danger of growing up in father-absent families. In fact, a majority of births to women under 30 happen outside of marriage—and divorce rates for those who do marry have blown past 40 percent. Together, these trends have left 1 in 3 children without a biological father in the home—a significant disadvantage associated with higher rates of school dropout, behavioral problems, and teen pregnancy.

Though research has long noted the benefits of involved fatherhood, public policy has been slow to offer solutions geared toward troubled fathers themselves. As a result, fathers have found little to affirm their larger purpose as parents amidst the panoply of government programs historically stacked against them. But it’s not all bad news for today’s dads. At the federal level, recent efforts have been made to create father-focused policies around paternal involvement, job training, and healthy-marriage initiatives. Discussions around the importance of involved fatherhood and how policy should respond to the challenges of today’s dynamic families intersect with the heart of CFRP’s research agenda. CFRP is exploring the intersection of nonmarital childbirth, parental relationships, father involvement, and support through in-depth analysis of primary and secondary data.

OPRE’s Fatherhood Research and Practice Network

CFRP Director and Associate Professor, Dr. Cynthia Osborne, serves as consultant and Chair of the Responsible Fatherhood working group for the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN). The FRPN is a long-term project of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) composed of an innovative group of investigators, practitioners, program officials and policymakers. The FRPN’s goals are to develop a research agenda that defines the state of the current research in the area of fatherhood and father involvement, identify extant gaps in this research, and generate suggestions for future research. Dr. Osborne is chairing the Responsible Fatherhood working group, who is tasked to identify gaps and future directions for rigorous evaluation research in the area of father engagement and parenting of their children. Click for more about the FRPN and CFRP.


Publications and Posts:

Title Type Date
The Changing American Family and the Evolving Concept of Fatherhood Post 2016 April
Event: Texas Fatherhood Summit: Building the Evidence Base for Fatherhood Programs Event 2016 February
New Grant: Effectiveness of Fatherhood Programs in Texas News Post 2016 February
Making Good on Fatherhood: A Review of Fatherhood Research Brief 2016 February
Snapshot: Fatherhood Initiatives in Texas Brief 2016 February
About Fatherhood Research E-news 2015 June
The Importance of Father Involvement Infographic 2015 June
Understanding Today's Changing Families Publication 2015 April
Child Support: The Hidden Social Safety Net Infographic 2015 April
A Father's Support: More To It Than Money News Post 2015 March
Showing Up is Half The Battle: Predicting Mothers’ Pregnancy Complications Among Unmarried Parents Working Paper 2014 November
Families at Risk: Understanding the Characteristics of Relationship Violence among Unmarried Texas Parents Brief 2014 September
To Be There or Not to Be There: How Fathers’ Presence at the Birth Shapes the Paternity Establishment Decision Brief 2014 September
Dad's Absence at Birth Linked to Adverse Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby Brief 2014 September
Relationship Violence and Paternity Establishment: Mapping the Policy Implications Brief 2014 August
Are Income Inequality and Nonmarital Childbearing Related? Interactive 2014 August
The Importance of Fathers – Father's Day 2014 E-News 2014 June
New Fatherhood Research and Practice Network Launches News Post 2014 June
5 Things You Should Know about Nonmarital Births and Paternity Establishment E-News 2014 June
Increasing Father Participation in Home Visiting: Lessons from Mothers Brief 2014 May
How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children News Post 2014 March
How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children: A Study of Unmarried Parents Brief 2014 March
About Parental Relationships from the Texas PES Study CFRP News Post 2014 February
When Dads Commit Kids Benefit News Post 2014 February
Fathers in the First Few Months: A Study of Unmarried Fathers and Their Children Brief 2014 February
Why Parents Establish Paternity Brief 2014 January
Who Establishes Paternity? Brief 2014 January
The Importance of Father Involvement Flyer 2013 October
Portrait of Father Involvement and Support in the First Three Years after a Nonmarital Birth Report 2013 October
Involving Fathers in Home Visiting Programs: Lessons from the Dads CFRP Snapshot 2013 June
The PES Study: A Father's First Legal Act of Fatherhood – Establishing Paternity News Post 2013 June
The CAS Study: Increasing Father Involvement Through Paternity Establishment News Post 2013 May

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